Royal Birkdale To Introduce New Par 3 Ahead Of 2026 Open

It's not often that we get a new hole on the Open rota but Royal Birkdale will feature a different look to things when The Open rolls into town in 2026.

As things stand Birkdale has four par 3s and three of them, the 4th, 12th and 14th could all be played with a similar club. The current 7th is the shorter of the quartet.

But now the old 14th, the one where Jordan Spieth nearly flew his ball into the hole before making a birdie to kickstart his ridiculous charge for home in 2017, will be removed from the scorecard and used as part of the short-game area.

The current 15th, a par 5 that measures 542 yards, will become the new and most likely lengthened 14th and then a new par 3 will be inserted between that green and the 16th tee. The beauty of this is that it will have the iconic clubhouse in the background.

The work will be carried out by Tom Mackenzie from the world-renowned Mackenzie & Ebert Golf Course Architects with phase one starting now and concluding in the spring and then the same again next Autumn. Everything will be completed well ahead of The Open in 2026.

The other notable changes include the par-3 7th having a new elevated green with fewer bunkers while the 5th, a short par 4 that plays as a blind dogleg from left to right, will see 'more volatility' with the introduction of fairway bunkers and a speed slot for those who can pick the right line off the tee.

Course Chairman, Neil Cruickshank, said: "The changes at Royal Birkdale reflect our dedication to upholding the Club's esteemed reputation while offering a golfing experience that is second to none. We are confident that these alterations will be warmly received by both our members and visitors from around the world."

This year we saw the unveiling to the world of the short 17th at Royal Liverpool that was reversed and shortened and which caught many of the headlines early in the week. As it transpired the wind never really got up and the course softened but there is still plenty of talk about the hole being dug up and re-done in the near future.